Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Church Membership
(1,354 words)

Soon after the Easter events, baptism became the act through which believers were incorporated into the church (Gaudemet, 1989, 55–69; Ferguson, 2009, 132–198), a relationship that was exclusive. According to early Christian understanding, it precludes all other paths to salvation in the sense of a religious pluralism. Accordingly, excommunication signifies the forsaking of …

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Schöllgen, Georg, “Church Membership”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 25 October 2020 <>
First published online: 2018

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